The Root of All Disease: Chronic Low-Grade Inflammation

The Root of All Disease: Chronic Low-Grade Inflammation

The prevention of chronic low-grade inflammation is crucial to optimal health, longevity, and a life of happiness. This type of inflammation is systemic and affects every cell, organ, and system in the body. Chronic low-grade inflammation leads to the development of the most prevalent diseases that are killing adults today- cancer, heart disease, neurological disease and diabetes. It is of the upmost importance that we understand this. Chronic low-grade inflammation is completely preventable through our diet. Food is medicine and we can use it to fight free radicals, which are essentially the building blocks of chronic inflammation. A lifestyle of exercise and a healthy diet packed with antioxidants is the best way to prevent chronic low-grade inflammation.

While the prevention of chronic low-grade inflammation is very important, it is also necessary to understand the process of it. It begins with a disruption of the balance of antioxidants to free radicals. Free radicals are normal and essential to our immune system. The body produces them as byproducts of cellular reactions, metabolism of foods, breathing and other vital functions. The liver also produces them and uses them for detoxification. The problem arises when there are too many free radicals due to low intake of antioxidants or lots of incoming toxins. This accelerates the aging progress and creates cell damage, which can cause oxidative stress. Free radicals harm and age the body over time because they damage DNA, cellular membranes, lipids and enzymes which causes aging and oxidation- the same process that rusts metal or browns an apple. High levels of oxidative stress affect all organ systems in the body and are linked to neurological disease, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, leaky gut, and cancer. Antioxidants counteract free radicals by consuming them and fixing the imbalance. The most effective way to reduce free radical damage is through a healthy diet and lifestyle. The best foods to combat free radicals are berries, brightly colored fruits and vegetables, grapes, red wine, green tea, cocoa, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, oregano, and rosemary.

It is important to understand what exactly free radicals are and how the accumulation of them can ultimately cause disease. The imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals is the first step to chronic low-grade inflammation. When the balance of antioxidants to free radicals becomes disrupted, free radicals harm and age the body. DNA, cellular membranes, lipids stored in blood vessels, and enzymes become damaged. This leads to oxidative stress and accelerated aging. Oxidation lays the foundation for more free radicals, which begins the vicious cycle. It is also equally important to understand that our bodies use antioxidants (substances that inhibit oxidation) to combat free radicals, and we can prevent the accumulation of them by eating a diet rich in antioxidants. If we can prevent the accumulation of free radicals we can ultimately prevent chronic low-grade inflammation, the precursor to all disease. Focus on consuming a high-antioxidant diet daily until it becomes a part of your lifestyle.

Foods rich in antioxidants. 

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